Baker Donelson

Government Employee Pensions May Now Be Fair Game for Cuts During Bankruptcy Restructuring

On Tuesday, December 2, 2013, Judge Steven Rhodes of the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that the City of Detroit, which filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on July 18, 2013, met the…more

Chapter 9, Municipal Bankruptcy, Municipalities, Pensions, Public Employees

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Federal Circuit Issues Sprawling Opinion Certain to Continue Big Pharma Forum Shopping in ANDA Litigation

In an opinion handed down Friday that will continue the trend of forum shopping, the Federal Circuit in Acorda Therapeutics Inc. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2015-1456, (Fed. Cir. 2016) held that the filing of an abbreviated…more

ANDA, FDA, Forum Shopping, Generic Drugs, Hatch-Waxman

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Keep Your Eye On the Ball: Begin 2014 With a Renewed Effort at Compliance

While most of the financial world has been focused on the new CFPB mortgage rules that went into effect on January 10, the Bureau has continued its enforcement activities in other areas. On January 16, 2013, the CFPB announced…more

CFPB, Chief Compliance Officers, Client Referrals, Compliance, Enforcement

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Florida Court Rules Borrowers Who Surrender Property in Bankruptcy Can't Later Take it Back

Thanks to several recent United States Bankruptcy Court decisions in Florida, mortgage servicers should now expect borrowers who surrender their real property in bankruptcy to not contest foreclosure later. Since the bankruptcy…more

Bank of America, Bankruptcy Code, Borrowers, Chapter 13, Chapter 7

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Franchisees Flatline in Case Against Doctors Express

On April 1, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit thoroughly shot down claims brought by franchisees of Doctors Express Franchising. Those claims asserted that Doctors Express misrepresented initial start-up…more

Appeals, Breach of Contract, Dismissals, Franchises, Franchisors

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So You Want To Sell Your Business… PART 3 of 4 – Valuing Your Business for Sale

If you have read and acted upon the first two installments of this Client Alert series, you know the reasons why you have decided to sell your business, and you have positioned your business to be as attractive as possible to…more

Business Valuations, Buyers, EBITDA, Selling a Business

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NIST Releases Guidelines for Vetting the Security of Mobile Applications Used by Businesses and Their Employees

Companies and their employees are increasingly using mobile devices and mobile applications (apps) to improve connectivity, communication and productivity. Unfortunately, these same companies may be unintentionally exposing…more

Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Framework, Mobile Apps, Mobile Devices, NIST

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Power Company Plans to Capture Carbon Dioxide Emissions to Sell for Enhanced Oil Recovery

Cost overruns at a controversial coal-gasification plant under construction in Kemper County, Mississippi apparently have cost the CEO of Mississippi Power Company his job. Ed Day recently resigned and has been replaced by G…more

Carbon Capture and Sequestration, CEOs, Coal, Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Oil and Gas Gathering Contracts: Contracts Running With the Land or Running On Empty?

In a much anticipated ruling, Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman has granted the motion of Sabine Oil and Gas Corporation (No. 15-11835, USBC SDNY) to reject certain executory contracts with Nordheim Eagle Ford Gathering, LLC and…more

Chapter 11, Commercial Bankruptcy, Covenants that Run With the Land, Energy Sector, Midstream Contracts

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Some H4 Spouses of H-1Bs Can Apply for Work Cards Beginning May 26, 2015

On Tuesday, February 24, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, effective May 26, 2015, USCIS will begin accepting applications for work authorization of H-4 spouses of two groups of H-1B…more

DHS, Employment Authorization Documents (EAD), H-1B, H-4 Spouses, Spouses

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Defend Trade Secrets Act To Be Signed Into Law

On April 27, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) by a vote of 410 to 2. As the DTSA has already passed the Senate by an 87 to 0 vote, the bill now heads to President Obama to be…more

Asset Seizure, Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), Ex Parte, Intellectual Property Protection, Misappropriation

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Interior Secretary Sally Jewell: No Drilling in Atlantic Ocean

In a major reversal of the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program announced by the Obama administration on January 28, 2015, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced yesterday that the U.S. government…more

Department of the Interior, Energy Sector, Offshore Drilling, Oil & Gas, Outer Continental Shelf

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CFPB Shifts Focus to Auto Lending Industry

Auto lenders and servicers be advised: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turns its lonely eyes to you. On June 17, 2015, the CFPB brought an action in the Southern District of Ohio against Security National…more

Automotive Industry, Automotive Loans, CFPA, CFPB, Compliance

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CMS Relaxes Proposals for Returning Overpayments, but Significant Questions Remain

On Thursday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a long awaited final rule that fleshes out the requirement for health care providers and suppliers that participate in Medicare Parts A and B to report…more

60-Day Rule, CMS, False Claims Act (FCA), Health Care Providers, Medicare Part A

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Managing Regulatory Risk in Nursing Home-Hospice Arrangements

Challenges of Nursing Home-Hospice Arrangements. As a nursing home resident's life expectation sunsets, transfer of the resident from the restorative care of a skilled nursing facility (SNF) to the palliative care of a hospice…more

Hospice, Nursing Homes

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Challenging the Denial of a Trademark Application in District Court Just Got More Expensive

In Shammas v. Focarino, the Eastern District of Virginia holds that an applicant must pay the government attorney's fees regardless of the applicant's success in a Section 1071(b) civil matter. …more

Applications, Attorney's Fees, Litigation Fees & Costs, Trademark Litigation, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

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Spotlight on Mississippi: Supreme Court Rules Against Department of Revenue's Claimed Entitlement to Deference

The Mississippi Supreme Court recently declined to give deference to the findings of the Department of Revenue in Miss. Dept. of Revenue v. Hotel and Restaurant Supply because the Department's findings were contrary to the best…more

Agency Deference, Audits, Construction Industry, Construction Project, Department of Revenue

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The Spotlight on Pay Equity is Here to Stay

On January 29, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced proposed rules that would require all employers with 100 or more employees – not just federal contractors as had been anticipated – to add W-2…more

Comment Period, Data Collection, EEO-1, EEOC, Equal Pay

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New Amendments to Florida's Proceedings Supplementary Statute Offer Clarity and Guidance for Judgment Creditors

Chapter 56 of the Florida Statutes provides the framework for judgment creditors to collect amounts owed pursuant to money judgments. Within Chapter 56, Section 56.29 governs the process by which a judgment creditor may seek to…more

Collection Action, Discovery, Fraudulent Transfers, Judgment Creditors, Third-Party

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Buying and Selling Your HUD-Financed Long Term Care Project: Navigating the TPA Process

So you have refinanced your long term care facility with Federal Housing Authority (FHA)-insured financing – a nonrecourse, 30-year (or longer) loan at an amazingly low fixed interest rate. Yes, the process may have been…more

Change of Ownership, Fair Housing Act (FHA), Financial Institutions, Financing, Healthcare

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City of Birmingham Raises Minimum Wage, Establishes Severe Employer Penalties in Aggressive Wage and Hour Ordinance

On August 18, 2015, the Birmingham, Alabama, City Council passed an aggressive wage and hour ordinance that raises the minimum wage to $10.10 by July 1, 2017. Presently, the minimum hourly wage in Alabama is $7.25, which is the…more

Minimum Wage, Tip Credit, Tipped Employees, Tips, Wage and Hour

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The New Paradigm in Vendor Management Under the CFPB

This past July marked the fifth anniversary of the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a period marked by sweeping changes to the regulatory and administrative environment in which financial institutions…more

Banking Sector, Banks, CFPB, Citibank, Compliance

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Bill Introduced to Curtail the Stark Law's In-Office Ancillary Services Exception

On August 1, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced H.R. 2914, the Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act. The legislation would provide that the Stark Law's in-office ancillary services (IOAS) exception is not available for…more

CMS, Healthcare, HHS, Medical Devices, Medical Expenses

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IRS Issues Final Regulations for Charitable Hospitals

On December 29, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Treasury issued final regulations on requirements described in Section 501(r) for charitable hospitals exempt from federal income tax under Section…more

Charitable Organizations, CHNA, Exempt Organizations, Final Rules, Hospitals

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Federal District Court Rules Favorably for Medical Device Manufacturer in Off-Label Promotion Lawsuits

On April 13, 2015, in the case of Kathleen Hafer v. Medtronic, Inc., the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee issued a favorable opinion to a medical device manufacturer in the context of preemption…more

Leave to Amend, Manufacturers, Medical Devices, Medtronic, Misrepresentation

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New HUD Guidance for Long Term Care Industry

On April 25, 2014, HUD issued a new Mortgagee Letter (Mortgagee Letter 2014-06) that implements revised policies with respect to master leases and portfolios for HUD-insured financing of long term care facilities. This letter…more

Commercial Leases, Financing, HUD, Leases, Long Term Care Facilities

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New Salary Threshold Is One Step Closer to Reality

Buckle your seat belts: the new pay regulations may be coming out as early as this April or May. Yesterday, the Department of Labor (DOL) forwarded its proposed final overtime regulations to the White House's Office of…more

DOL, Final Rules, FLSA, Minimum Salary, OMB

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OIG Hospital Compliance Audits: Is Your Number Up? Are You Ready?

In its Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2012, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it would begin reviews of Medicare payments to hospitals to determine compliance…more

ALJ, Audits, Compliance, Healthcare, HHS

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Student Loans: The Next CFPB Target?

There is approximately $1 trillion in total outstanding student loan debt in the United States, according to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. With the large amount of student loan debt nationwide as well as on a…more

CFPB, Student Loans

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Murphy Oil USA v. NLRB: The Fifth Circuit and the NLRB Remain in Disagreement Over Arbitration Agreements that include Class and Collective Action Waivers

If persistence is what you want from the NLRB, then you are probably happy with the Board’s recent ruling on Murphy Oil USA’s class and collective action waivers. In case you missed it, the NLRB held that employment arbitration…more

Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Collective Actions, D.R. Horton v NLRB, FLSA, Murphy Oil USA

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What the Mahalo??

Although commonly known, judgment creditors rarely utilize the charging order as a collection mechanism. This may change as a result of recent case law developments. The charging order has long been recognized in the partnership…more

Charging Orders, Creditors, Jurisdiction, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships

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OFAC Further Amends Cuban Assets Control Regulations – President Obama Authorizes More Travel and U.S. Presence in Cuba

On March 16, 2016, in what could be the final set of amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) under the Obama Administration, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published a final rule that further…more

Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), Final Rules, General Licenses, OFAC, Trade Relations

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New "Inversion" Proposed Regulations Inspired By The Pfizer/Allergan Deal May Impact Corporate Tax Planning Strategies

The Treasury Department has recently promulgated proposed regulations dealing with so-called inversion transactions. Inversion transactions are ones in which a U.S. corporation changes its domicile to a nation with a more…more

Allergan Inc, Anti-Inversion Regulations, Controlled Groups, Corporate Counsel, Corporate Taxes

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NLRB Decision on Joint Employer Standards Results in a Major Change in Business Relationships

On, August 27, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a 3-2 decision gutted more than 30 years of legal precedent when it changed the joint employer standard in business relationships. See Browning-Ferris Industries…more

Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Collective Bargaining, Franchisee, Franchises, Franchisors

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Wait A Minute? Is Pregnancy a Disability Now?

On July 14, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance relating to pregnancy discrimination. Since that time, in federal courts around the country the EEOC has filed multiple lawsuits on behalf of…more

ADA, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, FMLA, PDA

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Out With the Old and in With the New…Guidance

During a Summit on Disability and Employment in February of this year, the White House announced the release of a new guide entitled Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining, and Promoting People with Disabilities, A Resource Guide For…more

Disabled, Hiring & Firing, Human Resources Professionals, New Guidance, Obama Administration

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Coalition of Lawyers and Civil Rights Groups Brings Down Corporate Bad Guy in Alabama

Wonderful news today in Alabama – private probation company Judicial Correction Services (JCS) is high-tailing it out of the State after several years of being repeatedly sued over its mistreatment of low income people who are…more

Injunctive Relief, Probation

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes

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Five Changes to the Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act That You Need to Know

The following are five important changes to the Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act (the Act) which became effective January 1, 2015: 1. Affirmative Disclosure Requirement to Report Up the Chain of Command; 2…more

Board of Directors, Corporate Conversions, Disclosure Requirements, Fiduciary Duty, Indemnification

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Hospitalitas Newsletter - Winter 2014

In This Issue: - Marriott Fined $600,000 For Wi-Fi Jamming - Franchisor Liability for Franchisee Employment Decisions: The NLRB’s General Counsel Addresses the Move to Expand the Joint-Employer Standard, and…more

Consent Decrees, Corporate Fines, Fast-Food Industry, Franchises, Hiring & Firing

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Implementing An Employee Wellness Program? Be Careful - The EEOC Is Interested

According to recent studies, over 90% of employers offer some type of wellness incentives to their employees. This is a significant jump from 2009 when only a little over half of employers had employee wellness programs, and the…more

Adverse Employment Action, Corporate Counsel, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Enforcement Actions

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Update on New Orleans Zoning Ordinance

The new City of New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (“CZO”) became effective on August 12, 2015, but various interested parties have already begun the process of amending this newly-adopted ordinance. Last Thursday, the…more

Beer, Breweries, Business Licenses, Resorts & Restaurants, Restaurant Industry

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SCOTUS Jurisdiction Watch: Exhaustion of EEOC Administrative Remedies

On May 28, 2015, the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to meet and decide whether to grant or deny certiorari in Duble v. FedEx Ground Package System Inc., Supreme Court Case No. 14-1028. Petitioner, Duble, seeks review…more

Administrative Remedies, Discrimination, EEOC, FedEx, Retaliation

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California Dreams Becoming Reality for Franchisees; Amended Franchise Relationship Law Nears Passage

The California State Assembly saw the seventh amended version of proposed changes to the California Franchise Relationship Act (CFRA) introduced August 17, 2015. This amendment is the product of industry negotiations that…more

Buyback Programs, California Family Rights Act (CFRA), Criminal Prosecution, Franchise Agreements, Franchisee

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Supreme Court Resolves Circuit Split Over TILA Rescissions Limitations Period

The United States Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a borrower relying on the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to rescind his mortgage loan need only mail written notice of his intent to his lender within three years of the loan's…more

Bank of America, Countrywide, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgages, Refinancing

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Washington, D.C. Update – April 2016

FY17 Appropriations - The House and Senate Appropriations Committees continue to move forward on individual FY17 spending measures based on discretionary spending levels enshrined in last fall's bipartisan budget deal…more

Air Traffic Control Systems, CMS, Continuing Resolution, FDA, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

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Insurers Gain Additional Dismissals in the Florida Auto Body Action

In early 2014, a group of Florida auto body shops sued the leading auto insurers in their state, alleging that the insurers had conspired to suppress the amounts the auto body shops received in reimbursement rates. The case,…more

Anticompetitive Behavior, Antitrust Violations, Auto Body Shop, Auto Insurance, Car Accident

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Courts Cut the Fat, Clarify When Obesity is a Disability Under the ADA

The ADA prohibits discrimination based upon actual or perceived medical disabilities and requires employers to accommodate employees with disabilities subject to certain exceptions. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 effectively…more

ADA, ADAAA, Disability, Disability Discrimination, Obesity

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Class Action Attempt to Void Jimmy John's Non-Competes Goes Stale

Sandwich chain Jimmy John's has been in the news lately because of non-compete agreements that employees of its franchisees sign. This is not necessarily good news for Jimmy John's, but it does underscore some interesting…more

Class Action, Confidentiality Agreements, Employer Liability Issues, Fast-Food Industry, Franchisee

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Lender Involved Condemnation Part 2: Lender Concerns in Condemnation

This is the second installment in a series of articles related to lender-involved condemnations. The first installment provided a basic discussion of eminent domain and condemnation principles…more

Condemnation, Eminent Domain, Lenders, Risk Management, Takings

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CFPB Demonstrates its Broad Scope

While it has only just begun its third year, the CFPB has already left its mark with a series of recent enforcement actions. Below are four examples of how the CFPB has wielded the broad scope of its mandate…more

Bonuses, Capital One, CFPB, Debt-Relief Industry, Enforcement Actions

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NLRB Takes Aim at Non-Union Employers

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently handed down a series of decisions that challenged the fundamental tenet of the employee-employer relationship: at-will employment. This new affront came on the heels of a…more

At-Will Employment, Confidential Information, Internal Investigations, NLRA, NLRB

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Wage and Hour Focus in the Energy Sector Alive and Well

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) focus on wage and hour violations, which caught the oil and gas industry by surprise a little more than six years ago, continues to cause problems for the energy sector. Most recently, the…more

DOL, Energy Sector, FLSA, Oil & Gas, Over-Time

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North Carolina Legislators Look to Criminalize Disclosure of Fracking Fluids

As many states and the federal government look towards calling for greater disclosure and regulation of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, state senators in North Carolina appear to be pushing against the tide in…more

Chemicals, Disclosure Requirements, Energy, Environmental Liability, Fracking

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New Offshore Well Control Regulations Unveiled to Mixed Reviews

The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced final well control regulations for offshore drilling last week. The rules will purportedly make offshore drilling safer and are…more

Deepwater Horizon, Department of the Interior, Energy Sector, Final Rules, Offshore Drilling

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Texas Supreme Court Reinforces that Subcontractors May be Liable to Property Owners

On August 22, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that both the trial court and the court of appeals improperly dismissed a property owner's claim for negligence against a subcontractor for improper plumbing installation in…more

Breach of Duty, Contractors, Duty of Care, Negligence, Property Owners

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EPA Finalizes Methane Emissions Limits for Oil and Gas Industry

On May 12, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final rules establishing – for the first time – limits on methane emissions. In addition to creating the new methane emissions standards, the amendments to…more

Climate Action Plan, Climate Change, EPA, Final Rules, Methane

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Significant New EU Data Protection Privacy Framework Regulation Approved

On April 14, 2016 the European Parliament approved the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which replaces the EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC), the privacy law originally established in 1995. The…more

EU, EU Data Protection Laws, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), International Data Transfers, Personal Data

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Liberalization of Louisiana Foreclosure Law: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Legislation liberalizing Louisiana foreclosure law was signed by Louisiana’s governor on June 5. House Bill 697 becomes effective on August 1, 2015. One particular area where lenders strive to use technology involves the…more

Banking Sector, Banks, E-Signatures, Electronic Records, Financial Institutions

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Gawker FLSA Ruling Leaves Interns Gawking

Where's the line between an intern and an employee? If you think that's an easy question, consider this: the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines "employ" broadly as to "suffer or permit to work." So, who's to say that…more

Class Action, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Gawker, Social Media

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Watch Out Employees: Comply with Policies or Lose FMLA Rights

Did we hear that correctly? Employees need to follow Company policies? In a victory for employers, a federal court said that an employer had the right to terminate an employee who failed to follow the Company’s leave policy…more

Corporate Counsel, Employee Benefits, Employment Policies, FMLA, Kellogg Company

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FTC Ordered to Testify Regarding Data Security Standards in LabMD Dispute

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has suffered a significant setback in its ongoing dispute with LabMD, a now-closed medical laboratory that the FTC charged with failing to adopt reasonable data security practices that resulted…more

Data Breach, Data Protection, Electronic Medical Records, Enforcement Actions, FTC

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Sin of Omission: Ninth Circuit Splits with the Fifth, Finds That Failure to Include Addendum No. 2 Creates Ambiguity in Marine Builder's Risk Policy

In a marine builder's risk policy coverage dispute decided under Washington state law, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded a grant of summary judgment for Underwriters…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Reversal, Summary Judgment, Underwriting, Vessels

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NCAA, Colleges Defeat FLSA Lawsuit Claiming Student-Athletes Are Employees

Last week, an Indianapolis federal court dismissed the NCAA and more than 100 Division I schools from a lawsuit that claimed student-athletes should be entitled to minimum wage and overtime payments for the athletic "work" they…more

Colleges, DOL, FLSA, Minimum Wage, NCAA

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Spotlight on Alabama: Department of Revenue Announces 2016 Tax Amnesty Program

The Alabama Department of Revenue (DOR) has announced the conditions, requirements and limitations of its tax delinquency amnesty program for 2016 (the Amnesty Program), pursuant to the Alabama Tax Delinquency Amnesty Act of…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Income Taxes, State Taxes, Tax Amnesty

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NCAA, Colleges Defeat FLSA Lawsuit Claiming Student-Athletes Are Employees

Last week, an Indianapolis federal court dismissed the NCAA and more than 100 Division I schools from a lawsuit that claimed student-athletes should be entitled to minimum wage and overtime payments for the athletic "work" they…more

Colleges, DOL, FLSA, Minimum Wage, NCAA

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Is It Time to Take a Fresh Look at Your Parental Leave Policy?

In 2014, Baker Donelson's Women's Initiative decided it was time to revisit our decade-old parental leave policy. While the policy was still competitive in our market, offering 12 weeks of leave for primary caregivers, we wanted…more

Employee Benefits, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, Parental Leave, Wage and Hour

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Governor Jindal Signs Bill Aimed at Ending Suit by Levee Board

On June 6, 2014, by signing into law SB 469, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal took an aggressive step towards stymieing the lawsuit recently filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against 97 oil and gas…more

New Legislation, Oil & Gas, Utilities Sector

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Deadline Approaching to Report Certain HIPAA Breaches to Federal Officials

The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule requires covered entities to notify the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) if a breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI) is discovered. As most…more

Breach Notification Rule, Covered Entities, Deadlines, HHS, HIPAA

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 3, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

Career Development, Client Services, Professional Development, Professional Networking, Women in the Law

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NLRB's Quickie Election Rule Takes Effect - A New Threat for Employers: A Proactive Solution for You

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its final Rule on "quickie elections" in December, and they are now in effect. These rules come down heavily in favor of unions…more

Ambush Election Rules, Final Rules, NLRA, NLRB, Union Elections

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HHS: Providers May Be Able to Subsidize Premiums For Uninsured in Marketplace Plans

An announcement October 30 from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius could remove the first hurdle for providers wishing to offer premium support for individuals eligible for health insurance on the Health…more

Affordable Care Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Exchanges, Healthcare

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Women's Health Tip: I'm SO STRESSED

I had a bad week. A really bad week. No one died. There was no terminal diagnosis. No damage that is permanent. But it was bad enough that I started questioning my goals and priorities. It also got me thinking of a trip to Napa…more

Stress Reduction, Work-Induced Stress

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Obama's Clean Power Plan Rule Halted By SCOTUS

On February 9, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) took an unprecedented step by halting the implementation of the Obama Administration's federal regulation to control carbon dioxide emissions, generally…more

Carbon Emissions, Clean Air Act, Clean Power Plan, Climate Change, Coal-Fired Generation

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Justice Scalia’s Sudden Death: What Does It Mean for You?

The news of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death at a hunting lodge in Texas on February 13th rocked the country over Valentine’s weekend. The timing and suddenness of the staunch conservative’s death during President Obama’s last…more

Affirmative Action, Affordable Care Act, Contraceptive Coverage Mandate, Justice Scalia, Legislative Agendas

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"The Stark Law has become a booby trap…" Says the Federal Appeals Court. Why Health Care Providers Should Heed the Warning

After reading through the hundreds of pages of the District Court's and Appeals Court's decisions, including the recent Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that was filed on July 2, 2015, one thing is certain: Mixing one…more

Agency Agreement, Appeals, Compliance, Employment Contract, False Claims Act (FCA)

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Obama Signs Bill Making Changes to Affordable Care Act

On October 7, President Obama signed into law H.R.1624, the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act. The act amends a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to allow states to opt out of the scheduled expansion of…more

Affordable Care Act, Eligibility, Health Insurance, Healthcare, Obama Administration

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Volcker Rule Restricts Banks' Activities with Hedge Funds and Private Funds

On December 10, 2013, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading…more

Banks, Dodd-Frank, Hedge Funds, Private Funds, Volcker Rule

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State Laws Are Not a Defense to Title VII's Prohibition on LGBT Discrimination, Says the EEOC

Mississippi and North Carolina recently passed legislation categorized as "sweeping anti-LGBT laws." North Carolina's bill, H.B. 2, requires transgender people to use public restrooms according to the biological sex assigned on…more

EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Gender Discrimination, LGBT, New Guidance

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Legislation Enhances Florida Craft Beer Industry

While many states, including such craft beer meccas as Colorado, Oregon and Vermont, have been embracing the explosion of the craft beer culture in America, Florida has been waging war against craft beer in true prohibition-era…more

Anheuser-Busch, Beer, Breweries, Economic Development, Entrepreneurs

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Texas Railroad Commission Finds Earthquakes in North Texas Not Caused by Drilling Operations

Update: On September 10, the Texas Railroad Commission concluded that these small earthquakes that occurred near Azle, Texas likely were not caused by drilling operations conducted by EnerVest Operating LLC. The Texas Railroad…more

Earthquakes, Energy Sector, Exxon Mobil, Fracking, Natural Gas

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Florida Court Rules Borrowers Who Surrender Property in Bankruptcy Can't Later Take it Back

Thanks to several recent United States Bankruptcy Court decisions in Florida, mortgage servicers should now expect borrowers who surrender their real property in bankruptcy to not contest foreclosure later. Since the bankruptcy…more

Bank of America, Bankruptcy Code, Borrowers, Chapter 13, Chapter 7

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 3, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

Career Development, Client Services, Professional Development, Professional Networking, Women in the Law

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What Happens if You Wait Too Long to File Your Patent Case?

Patent owners recently were reminded that delay in pursuing patent infringers can be fatal. A patent lawsuit that is not filed timely can be blocked by the doctrine of laches, even to the extent of preventing the patent owner…more

Laches, MGM, Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation, Patent Royalties

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USPTO Releases Patent Counts by Class by Year Report

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) maintains annual statistics on patents issued across various technologies. Specifically, each year the USPTO’s Patent Technology Monitoring Team prepares the Patent Counts by Class by…more

Energy Sector, Oil & Gas, Patents, USPTO

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Keeping the Benefit of Your Bargain: Strengthening Your Right to Prepayment Premiums

Anyone involved in commercial lending transactions is familiar with provisions of loan agreements that provide for compensation to the lender in the event the indebtedness is paid in advance of the contemplated due date. These…more

Commercial Bankruptcy, Commercial Leases

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Eye-Popping Verdict For “The Little Guy” Against Wal-Mart

Last week, a federal jury (after only 3 hours of deliberation) awarded a Walmart female pharmacist... wait for it... $31 MILLION! Maureen McPadden, a 13-year Wal-Mart pharmacist, brought an action alleging retaliatory…more

Disability Discrimination, FMLA, Hiring & Firing, Policies and Procedures, Retaliation

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FDA Finalizes Revisions to Nutrition/Supplement Facts Labeling

On Friday, May 20, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced its final revisions to the labeling requirements for conventional foods and…more

Dietary Supplements, FDA, Food Manufacturers, Nutrition Facts Labels

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Tennessee Employers with 50 or More Employees Will Be Required To Use E-Verify Starting 1/1/2017

Starting January 1, 2017, all Tennessee employers with 50 or more employees will be required to use the E-Verify system in order to verify the employment eligibility of workers hired on or after that date. Currently, employers…more

E-Verify, Employer Liability Issues, Hiring & Firing

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The Sixth Circuit: “Honest Belief” of FMLA Misuse May Not Be Enough to Defeat FMLA Interference Claims

Eddie Employee is an hourly employee of Company, Inc. Eddie notifies Sally Supervisor that he will undergo surgery, and will need continuous medical leave to recover. While out on leave, Eddie’s co-workers, who are “friends”…more

Employer Liability Issues, FMLA, Hiring & Firing, Retaliation, Wage and Hour

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Transocean/BP Settlement Ends Texas Law Insurance Dispute: What Are the Possible Future Implications?

A lesser known but interesting legal issue regarding the 2010 BP oil spill was whether an operator (BP) could recover insurance proceeds as an additional insured under its driller's (Transocean) insurance policies for…more

Additional Insured, BP, Gulf Oil Spill, Insurance Litigation, Master Service Agreement

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Employment Reform Legislation Passes Tennessee Legislature

On April 16, 2014, the Tennessee General Assembly, at the urging of Baker Donelson, passed significant employment litigation reform that will benefit employers throughout Tennessee. The bill places caps on compensatory damages,…more

Damages, Employer Liability Issues, Pain and Suffering

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OFAC Further Amends Cuban Assets Control Regulations – President Obama Authorizes More Travel and U.S. Presence in Cuba

On March 16, 2016, in what could be the final set of amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) under the Obama Administration, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published a final rule that further…more

Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), Final Rules, General Licenses, OFAC, Trade Relations

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Cyber Attack Information Sharing will Bring Liability Protections to Companies

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act. Included in this must-pass federal funding legislation is the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, which represents the most significant federal…more

Consolidated Appropriations Act, Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), Healthcare, Information Sharing

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Q&A on .bank Registration

By now, many members of the banking community have heard from their trade associations that there will be a new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) released by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) for…more

Banking Sector, gTLD, ICANN

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Was Asbestos Used in Your Drilling Mud Program?

With the bankruptcy of dozens of traditional defendants in asbestos litigation, plaintiffs' attorneys have been creative in pursuing claims in previously untapped areas. One such area is alleged oilfield worker exposure via…more

Asbestos, Asbestos Litigation, Chemicals, Hazardous Substances, Oil & Gas

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No Damage for Delay Clauses Have Limits on Louisiana Public Works Projects

The Louisiana Public Works Act prohibits “no damage for delay” clauses in contracts for publicly bid projects. Recently, the State of Louisiana tested the boundaries of that prohibition by including a provision in a public…more

Change Orders, Construction Contracts, Construction Industry, Construction Site, Contractors

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Flaws and All, CFPB's Arbitration Study Sparks Vigorous Debate over Next Steps in Regulating Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

As expected, the reaction to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) arbitration study report, released in March 2015, has been vociferous. All sides of this important debate are loudly proclaiming that their arguments…more

Arbitration, Bank Accounts, Banking Sector, Banks, CFPB

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Is Your Institution Ready for the October 1 Clery Report Deadline?

By October 1, all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs must publish and distribute to all current and prospective students and employees an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. As in…more

Clery Act, Colleges, Compliance, Crime Statistics, Dating Violence

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Was a CFPB Enforcement Action Based on "Racial Profiling and Junk Science"?

In a press release dated April 18, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) declared that it would "use all available legal avenues, including disparate impact, to pursue lenders whose practices…more

Automotive Loans, CFPB, Consumer Lenders, Disparate Impact, ECOA

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Same-Sex Marriage and Employment Discrimination: The Future of Sexual Orientation Bias Claims

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country. In Oberfell v. Hodges, the Court held that Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment – commonly referred to as the Equal…more

Anti-Discrimination Policies, Benefit Plan Sponsors, Corporate Counsel, DOMA, Domestic Partner Benefits

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New HUD Guidance for Long Term Care Industry

On April 25, 2014, HUD issued a new Mortgagee Letter (Mortgagee Letter 2014-06) that implements revised policies with respect to master leases and portfolios for HUD-insured financing of long term care facilities. This letter…more

Commercial Leases, Financing, HUD, Leases, Long Term Care Facilities

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Ransomware Attack Highlights Importance of Preparation

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles recently paid a $17,000 ransom in bitcoins to a malware hacker who seized control of the hospital's computer systems and demanded money ransom as a condition to returning…more

Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity, Incident Response Plans, Information Governance, Malware

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Why Take a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure? Why Not?

So you're headed for receivership and foreclosure, when the borrower rep or your counsel asks, "What about a deed in lieu?" "I don't know," you think. "Getting a receiver appointed and foreclosing is what I'm most familiar…more

Deed of Trust, Foreclosure, Mortgages

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 2, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

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Was a CFPB Enforcement Action Based on "Racial Profiling and Junk Science"?

In a press release dated April 18, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) declared that it would "use all available legal avenues, including disparate impact, to pursue lenders whose practices…more

Automotive Loans, CFPB, Consumer Lenders, Disparate Impact, ECOA

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Litigation Alert For Businesses With Tennessee Operations

On March 9, 2015, a Tennessee trial court struck down Tennessee's statutory limitation on the amount of non-economic damages recoverable in personal injury cases. The court held that the legislature's attempt to limit…more

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Landlords Beware: Potential Post-Holiday Bankruptcy Filings By Retail Tenants

The holiday shopping season has long been the most important time of the year for many retailers. In the past, it has been common for troubled retailers to file for bankruptcy protection in the months following the holiday…more

Chapter 11, Commercial Bankruptcy, Landlords, Popular, Retail Market

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Will Your EU Registrations Be Invalidated by the New Law?

On December 15, 2015, following several years of negotiations, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union approved a new EU Trade Mark Directive as well as a new Trade Mark Regulation…more

EU, Fees, Intellectual Property Protection, Trade Mark Directive, Trademarks

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 2, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

See All Updates »

High Volatility Commercial Real Estate: Loan Document Considerations

As of January 1, 2015, global Basel III regulations and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Consumer Protection Act required banks in the United States to comply with certain new capital rules and regulations. Among other…more

Banks, Basel III, Capital Rules, Dodd-Frank, HVCRE Rule

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Louisiana Fourth Circuit Holds Public Bid Invalid Absent Written Evidence of Authority to Sign Bid

Contractors that bid public projects in Louisiana are familiar with the Public Bid Law's requirement that "[w]ritten evidence of authority of the person signing the bid for public works shall be submitted at the time of…more

Competitive Bidding, Construction Industry, Contractors, Limited Liability Companies

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Summary of Senate Bill 2622 - Mississippi's Construction Lien Law

This is the first in a series of alerts exploring how this new law will affect your business. Look for more information regarding this law in the coming weeks. The bill has passed out of conference but it must be enrolled and…more

Construction Liens, Materialman's Lien

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Top 10 Recommendations to Avoid Litigation

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been targeted by plaintiff's attorneys who advertise heavily in an effort to solicit plaintiffs for malpractice suits…more

Medical Liability

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Going for the Goal and the Gold – the Quest for Equal Pay

In late March 2016, five star players on the U.S. women’s national soccer team filed a complaint with the EEOC, alleging that they are paid 40% less than the U.S. men’s national soccer team. The women’s U.S. soccer team is…more

EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Equal Pay, Equal Pay Act, Gender Equity

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Proposing a Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan in Good Faith

Good faith is generally understood to mean honesty or sincerity of intention. But in the law, things are often not as straightforward as that. It has been called an intangible and abstract quality and said to include such…more

Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 11, Creditors, Debtors, Good Faith

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To Plead or Not to Plead (the Fifth Amendment) in Civil Litigation — That is the Question

Criminal law and procedure can make even the most seasoned bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers uneasy. However, the Fifth Amendment privilege, in particular, does arise in civil matters from time to time. And there can be…more

Business Records, Civil Investigation Demand, Discovery, Fifth Amendment, Self-Incrimination

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The Rise, and Risk, of Construction Drones

Drone usage on construction projects is ready to take off. With recent enhancements in performance and capability, it will soon be hard to imagine a large construction project without drones playing some role. Consider this…more

Commercial Use, Construction Industry, Construction Project, Drones, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

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EEOC Does Its Best to Make Complaining Employees Untouchable with New Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation

Almost 20 years have passed since the EEOC published its guidance on retaliation claims in 1998, and much has changed in the workplace since then. Not surprisingly though, the agency's position on retaliation – now the most…more

EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Discrimination, Retaliation

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Supreme Court Reshapes Consumer Financial Law with Two Recent Decisions

The Supreme Court issued two interesting decisions recently that will affect the consumer financial industry. In Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, the Court held that when it comes to Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations, standing…more

Article III, Attorney Generals, CFPB, Class Action, Dodd-Frank

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Field Trips, Resident Safety and Liability: Considerations for Long Term Care Facilities

In virtually any skilled nursing or assisted living facility, activities for senior residents are an integral part of the facility's operations. Many facilities tout or advertise the activities that their facility offers to…more

Health and Safety, Health Care Providers, Long Term Care Facilities, Nursing Homes, Patient Safety

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NLRB's Quickie Election Rule Takes Effect - A New Threat for Employers: A Proactive Solution for You

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its final Rule on "quickie elections" in December, and they are now in effect. These rules come down heavily in favor of unions…more

Ambush Election Rules, Final Rules, NLRA, NLRB, Union Elections

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EEOC Proposed Rule to Shed Light on Wellness Programs under the ADA

On April 20, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") published a proposed new rule that would amend the regulations for Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") as they relate to employer…more

ADA, Affordable Care Act, Benefit Plan Sponsors, EEOC, ERISA

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Supreme Court Resolves Circuit Split Over TILA Rescissions Limitations Period

The United States Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a borrower relying on the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to rescind his mortgage loan need only mail written notice of his intent to his lender within three years of the loan's…more

Bank of America, Countrywide, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgages, Refinancing

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Are You Ready? New Round of HIPAA Audits Are Underway

On March 21, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) formally announced the start of its 2016 Phase 2 Health Insurance Portability and Accountably Act (HIPAA) Audit Program. Unlike Phase 1, in which OCR's 2012 pilot program…more

Business Associates, Covered Entities, HIPAA, HIPAA Audits, HIPAA Breach

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New Fiduciary Duty Rule: What You Need to Do Now

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its Final Fiduciary Duty Rule. The effective date for the rule is June 7, 2016, which is 60 days after its Federal Register publish date of April 8. The rule takes…more

Best Interest Contract Exemptions, DOL, Employee Benefits, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty

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The Confederate Flag is Down in South Carolina, but It's Up in Your Parking Lot: What Should You Do?

There has been considerable press lately regarding efforts to remove the Confederate flag from state capitols, and to otherwise remove public displays of Confederate or similar symbols of "southern heritage." What is often left…more

Employer Liability Issues, First Amendment, Hostile Environment

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Time Saver Savvy – A Working Mom's Guide to Spending More Quality Time with the Kids

As a mother of three children at very different stages of their lives (one high school, one middle school and one lower school), I have often struggled to carve out "quality time" with my children. Sure, we spend lots of time…more

Employee Benefits, Maternity Leave, Parental Leave

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OSHA Update: A Tale of Two Proposed OSHA Regulations

Back in February, we mentioned that public comments were being accepted on OSHA's proposed rule that would require employers with more than 250 employees to electronically report to OSHA their OSHA 300 (the injury and illness…more

Compliance, OSHA, Recordkeeping Requirements, Reporting Requirements, Workplace Injury

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Fifth Circuit Protects Franchisors, For Now

In the wake of the National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s announcement that he intends to pursue unfair labor practice charges against a franchisor, franchisors are on high alert. With the NLRB considering an upheaval…more

Employee Rights, Franchises, Franchisors, Joint Employers, McDonalds

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How to Incentivize an Employee Exempt Under the White Collar Exemptions

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), certain employees can be exempt from overtime if they meet the "white collar exemptions" – the bona fide executive, administrative, professional, certain computer and outside sales…more

FLSA, Minimum Salary, Unpaid Overtime, Wage and Hour, White-Collar Exemptions

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Guns At Work In Tennessee: What Can Be Banned, What Can Probably Be Banned, And What Is Left

The Tennessee legislature's recent enactment of what has been widely named the "Guns in the Trunk" statute, codified at Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1313, has sparked debate across the state about the statute's impact on an…more

At-Will Employment, Concealed Carry Permit, Firearms, Guns-in-Trunks Legislation, Hiring & Firing

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Looking Ahead: What the Auto Lending Industry Can Expect from the CFPB in 2016

The CFPB's critics are getting louder, arbitration clauses are spending some time on the chopping block and credit reporting continues to garner more and more attention. These are all things we can expect to focus on this year…more

Automotive Loans, Car Dealerships, CFPB, Credit Reports, Discriminatory Lending Practices

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Petronius To Petrobras – Fifth Circuit Reaffirms Test For Ocsla Versus Maritime Tort Jurisdiction

In 2006, the Fifth Circuit issued a landmark controversial opinion in Texaco Exploration & Production, Inc. v. AmClyde Engineered Products Co., 448 F.3d 760, 770 (5th Cir.) amended on reh’g, 453 F.3d 652 (5th Cir. 2006). The…more

Economic Loss Doctrine, Energy Sector, Federal Admiralty Law, Jurisdiction, Offshore Drilling

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EEOC Announces Six-Figure Transgender Discrimination Settlement

The onslaught of news stories about "bathroom bills" has thrust issues facing transgender people into the national spotlight, but do you know what rights are afforded to transgender people in the workplace? Employers should know…more

EEOC, Employee Restrooms, Employer Liability Issues, Gender Discrimination, Gender Identity

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Start Planning for the Worst While You Hope for the Best

For the past several months we have been updating you on the proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the impact those changes could have on your workforce. The comment period for the proposed regulations has…more

Comment Period, DOL, FLSA, Independent Contractors, Minimum Salary

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DOL Gives States More Control Over Self-Insured Health Plans

On November 6, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL) published Technical Release 2014-01, which provides technical guidance to States concerning stop-loss insurance. Stop-loss…more

DOL, Employer Group Health Plans, Health Insurance, Self-Insured Health Plans

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Is Forum Shopping for Equal Rights on the Horizon?

Race discrimination claims brought by members of the racial majority have long been recognized as legitimate claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and various state discrimination laws. However,…more

Civil Rights Act, Forum Selection, Forum Shopping, Race Discrimination, Title VII

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue's Upcoming April 26 Rulemaking Hearing

On April 26, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. CST, a hearing will be conducted regarding proposed regulations filed by the Tennessee Department of Revenue (Department) with the Secretary of State on February 25, 2016. This rulemaking hearing,…more

Comment Period, Department of Revenue, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes, Proposed Regulation

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EEOC: Show Me Yours, but I Won't Let You See Theirs

Most employers know the drill: employee feels as though he/she has been the subject of a discriminatory or retaliatory act by their employer; employee contacts the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); employee files a…more

Confidential Information, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Discrimination

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The Oil Bust…Bankruptcy Boom?

Although the news is filled with stories of falling oil and gas prices and suggestions that a third of the exploration and production companies may file for bankruptcy, this most recent downturn may not produce the bankruptcy…more

Abandonment, Chapter 11, Commercial Bankruptcy, Energy Sector, Oil & Gas

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Don't Get Caught Out in the Cold: Winter Wage Law Woes

Now that winter will soon be officially here and many parts of the country are expecting snow in the near future, employers should be mindful of how winter weather impacts wage laws. Employers should review their inclement…more

Corporate Counsel, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, Severe Weather, Wage and Hour

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OSHA Issues Guidance Regarding Transgender Employees

As transgender issues seem to dominate the headlines, another federal agency has stepped into the debate. Last week, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued guidance strongly urging employers to give…more

EEOC, Employee Restrooms, Employee Rights, Equal Access, Gender Discrimination

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HHS Issues Guidance on Permitted Remuneration for Prescription Refill Reminders in the Absence of Patient Authorization

On September 19, the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) issued guidance on the effect of the January 25, 2013 Final Rule provision about remuneration related to prescription refill reminders and medication adherence…more

Compliance, HHS, HIPAA, HIPAA Omnibus Rule, Refill Reminders

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New Case Poses Threat to Mortgage Servicers in Bankruptcies

A new decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit poses a serious threat to mortgage companies that service mortgages of chapter 13 debtors. Mortgage servicers should be aware of the case's implications and…more

Appeals, Bankruptcy Code, Borrowers, Chapter 13, Chapter 7

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The New Paradigm in Vendor Management Under the CFPB

This past July marked the fifth anniversary of the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a period marked by sweeping changes to the regulatory and administrative environment in which financial institutions…more

Banking Sector, Banks, CFPB, Citibank, Compliance

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Georgia Supreme Court Rules Construction Defects Satisfy CGL Policy's 'Occurrence' Requirement

Homeowners sued their homebuilder alleging that the concrete foundations of their homes were improperly constructed. As a result, it was alleged that the foundations were failing, and the defects in the foundations had caused…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Defects, Occurrence, Property Damage

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Words Matter: D.C. Circuit Upholds (in part) NLRB's Ruling on Hyundai Handbook Policies

A recent opinion from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Hyundai Am. Shipping Agency, Inc. v. NLRB, illustrates the importance of word choice in handbook policies under the watchful eye of the National Labor Relations Board…more

Collective Bargaining, Employee Handbooks, NLRA, NLRB, Popular

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Recent CFPB Enforcement Actions Focus on Data Security and Discriminatory Lending

In the past two months, consent orders were reached in two high profile enforcement actions. In February 2016, a consent order came out between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Department of Justice (DOJ) and…more

Automotive Loans, CFPB, Data Security, Discriminatory Lending Practices, DOJ

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Playing Zone(-ing) Defense

ZONE(-ING) DEFENSE --- With March Madness in full swing, now is a great time to review how local zoning ordinances can turn a mortgage servicer’s foreclosure layup into a blocked shot. Many U.S. states rely on a judicial process…more

Foreclosure, Local Ordinance, Mortgages

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CFPB Agrees to Give Originators a Grace Period for Compliance with New TRID Regulations

On the eve of the New Year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took steps to calm industry concerns about the effect of the new TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules enacted by the CFPB. Effective October 3,…more

CFPB, Disclosure Requirements, Grace Period, Mortgage Loan Originators, TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID)

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The National Labor Relations Board Expands Union Access to Witness Statements

On June 26, 2015, in a split 3-2 decision, the National Labor Relations Board (Board), overturned the 37-year-old standard protecting the confidentiality of witness statements taken by employers during workplace investigations…more

Anheuser-Busch, Balancing Test, Confidential Information, Hiring & Firing, NLRB

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Builder Beware! Does Your Project Infringe Someone’s Copyright?

On Friday, November 8, 2013, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which comprises Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, affirmed a $3.2 million damages award for copyright infringement in favor of Kipp…more

Architects, Construction Disputes, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Infringement

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Redskins Trademarks Cancelled - Found Disparaging to Native Americans (Again)

On June 18, 2014, in Amanda Blackhorse et al. v. Pro-Football, Inc., Cancellation No. 92046185 (TTAB 6/18/2014), the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB) cancelled six trademark registrations issued between 1967 and 1990 for…more

Blackhorse v Pro-Football, Disparagement, Football, Laches, Native American Issues

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Will Your EU Registrations Be Invalidated by the New Law?

On December 15, 2015, following several years of negotiations, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union approved a new EU Trade Mark Directive as well as a new Trade Mark Regulation…more

EU, Fees, Intellectual Property Protection, Trade Mark Directive, Trademarks

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Government Offers Guidance for Employers Conducting Internal I-9 Audits

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices recently issued guidance to help employers conduct internal I-9 audits in compliance with the…more

Anti-Discrimination Policies, E-Verify, I-9, ICE, Immigration and Nationality Act

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Mississippi Supreme Court Upholds the Net Operating Income Method for Determining True Value of Affordable Housing

In a much anticipated decision, on October 17, 2013, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the Income Approach to Valuation of Affordable Housing, which is a significant victory for affordable housing developers and the larger…more

Affordable Housing, Appraisal, Subsidies, Valuation

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A Gathering Storm in the Dietary Supplement World

This past February, the New York State Attorney General's office accused four major retailers of selling fraudulent and possibly dangerous herbal supplements and demanded that they remove the products from their shelves. The…more

Dietary Supplements, Distributors, FDA Warning Letters, GNC, Labeling

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Alabama Legislative Update – Sine Die – The 2014 Legislative Session Ends

The Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. In previous years, sessions have ended just minutes before midnight on the 30th legislative day. This year was different. As soon as both…more

Ethics, Fraud, Legislative Agendas, Lobbying

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Fourth Circuit Joins Other Federal Courts in Broadly Interpreting the Scope of Title VII Retaliation Claims

On May 7, 2015, the Fourth Circuit ruled that an isolated instance of harassment, if "extremely serious," can create a hostile work environment, and that complaining about such harassment constitutes protected activity under…more

Employer Liability Issues, Harassment, Hostile Environment, Protected Activity, Title VII

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Bill Introduced to Curtail the Stark Law's In-Office Ancillary Services Exception

On August 1, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced H.R. 2914, the Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act. The legislation would provide that the Stark Law's in-office ancillary services (IOAS) exception is not available for…more

CMS, Healthcare, HHS, Medical Devices, Medical Expenses

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Georgia Supreme Court Rules Construction Defects Satisfy CGL Policy's 'Occurrence' Requirement

Homeowners sued their homebuilder alleging that the concrete foundations of their homes were improperly constructed. As a result, it was alleged that the foundations were failing, and the defects in the foundations had caused…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Defects, Occurrence, Property Damage

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Deepwater Horizon Update: Fifth Circuit Rules in Favor of Cameron on Insurance Issues

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently issued an opinion ruling in favor of Cameron International Corporation and certifying a question to the Texas Supreme Court on issues arising out of an insurance dispute…more

BP, Deepwater Horizon, Denial of Insurance Coverage, Insurance Litigation, Oil & Gas

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Spotlight on Louisiana Tax Amnesty: Better to Ask for Forgiveness?

For a two-month period beginning on September 23, 2013 and ending on November 22, 2013, eligible Louisiana taxpayers may apply to wipe the slate clean with the Louisiana Department of Revenue (Department) by voluntarily paying…more

Department of Revenue, Income Taxes, Interest Rates, Tax Amnesty

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FAST Act Brings Holiday Cheer to Issuers

"Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act," also known as the FAST Act, was signed by President Obama on December 4, 2015. Although primarily aimed at authorizing spending on highway and transit projects, the FAST Act…more

Disclosure Requirements, Emerging Growth Companies, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), JOBS Act, New Legislation

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The Case of Actually Actual Fraud

On May 16, the bankruptcy world of “actual fraud” got larger. In an opinion delivered by Justice Sotomayor, the Supreme Court addressed what it recognized was a deepening circuit split regarding the interpretation of “actual…more

Chapter 7, Commercial Bankruptcy, Fraudulent Conveyance, Husky International Electronics v Ritz, SCOTUS

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Based on Improper Appointment of Acting General Counsel to NLRB, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Voids Unfair Labor Practice Ruling

On August 7, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon's appointment violated the Federal Vacancies Reform…more

Administrative Appointments, ALJ, Bonuses, Canning v NLRB, Collective Bargaining

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Drafting Arbitration Clauses in Chinese/American Commercial Contracts for Arbitration in China

American companies doing business with Chinese companies in China are often concerned about the credibility, neutrality and quality of the arbitration institutions in China. As a result, American companies generally try to avoid…more

Arbitration, China, Commercial Contracts, Young Lawyers

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HUD Proposes Expanding Indebtedness Eligible for Refinancing with FHA-Insured Loans

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently published proposed revisions to its Handbook covering its Healthcare Insurance Mortgage Program under Section 232 of the National Housing Act (the Section 232…more

Fair Housing Act (FHA), Government-Guaranteed Loans, HUD, National Housing Act (NHA), Refinancing

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TRID's Closing Disclosure

On October 3, 2015, the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule (TRID) went into effect. The rule sought to streamline and clarify some of the overlapping and confusing language on the two different disclosure forms lenders…more

Banking Sector, Banks, CFPB, Closing Documents, Consumer Lenders

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Tennessee Supreme Court Modifies Summary Judgment Standard

On October 26, 2015, the Tennessee Supreme Court returned to a summary judgment standard consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in a Memphis health care liability case. In Rye v. Women's Care Center of Memphis, the…more

Healthcare, Summary Judgment, TN Supreme Court

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Summary of Senate Bill 2622 - Mississippi's Construction Lien Law

This is the first in a series of alerts exploring how this new law will affect your business. Look for more information regarding this law in the coming weeks. The bill has passed out of conference but it must be enrolled and…more

Construction Liens, Materialman's Lien

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Recent Eleventh Circuit Decisions Clarify "Debt Collector" Status Under the FDCPA

Recent decisions within the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals have clarified two required elements needed to support a viable claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In Davidson v. Capital One Bank (USA),…more

Appeals, Capital One, Debt Collection, Debt Collectors, FDCPA

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CMS Therapy Payment Model Under Review: What to Expect in 2016

In 2015, the Medicare payment system for therapy services provided by Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) saw intense media and governmental scrutiny. Several news articles and reports were published on the need for reform, many…more

Civil Investigation Demand, CMS, Health Care Providers, Long Term Care Facilities, Physician Medicare Reimbursements

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CMS Relaxes Proposals for Returning Overpayments, but Significant Questions Remain

On Thursday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a long awaited final rule that fleshes out the requirement for health care providers and suppliers that participate in Medicare Parts A and B to report…more

60-Day Rule, CMS, False Claims Act (FCA), Health Care Providers, Medicare Part A

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes

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On My Bookshelf – Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know

For this month's book review, Tim Lupinacci, the leader of the Firm's Financial Services Department, and Staci Pierce, an associate in Financial Services, provide their points of view on Sponsoring Women by Ida O. Abbott…more

Corporate Social Responsibility, Diversity, Leadership

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Spotlight on Alabama: Sales Tax Held Not to Apply to Tangible Personal Property

The issue of whether photographers, and specifically commercial photographers, must collect and remit Alabama sales tax on charges for their services and the tangible property associated with those services, has been a topic of…more

Advertising, Department of Revenue, Photographs, Sales Tax, Summary Judgment

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Recent, Significant Changes in Florida's Law of Foreclosure

On June 7, 2013, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law House Bill 87, now known as Chapter 2013-137, which provides for substantial changes in mortgage foreclosures filed in Florida…more

Consumer Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Mortgages, New Legislation

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Play Under Review: USC Football Coach Wanted Mid-Season Timeout for Alcoholism

At the beginning of last year's college football season, many folks had high expectations for the University of Southern California Trojans and the team's second-year head coach, Steve Sarkisian. Instead, USC ended the season…more

ADA, Disability Discrimination, Drug & Alcohol Abuse, FMLA, Football

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Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) is Challenged Before the U.S. Supreme Court

A significant protection afforded by the 2005 Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) is being challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court in State of Mississippi ex rel Jim Hood, Attorney General v. AU Optronics Corp, et al., No…more

CAFA, Class Action, Federal Jurisdiction, SCOTUS

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Georgia Supreme Court Rules Construction Defects Satisfy CGL Policy's 'Occurrence' Requirement

Homeowners sued their homebuilder alleging that the concrete foundations of their homes were improperly constructed. As a result, it was alleged that the foundations were failing, and the defects in the foundations had caused…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Defects, Occurrence, Property Damage

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Spotlight on Mississippi: Domestic Asset Protection Trust Legislation

Mississippi recently became the 16th state to pass legislation permitting the creation of domestic asset protection trusts. The new law was effective July 1, 2014. Under the new Mississippi Act, a domestic asset…more

Trusts

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Patent Protection for Isolated Genetic Sequences Upheld in Australia

Last year in AMP v Myriad Genetics, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that isolated, naturally occuring DNA are not patent eligible, which caused considerable consternation in the biotech community. However, this does not appear…more

AMP v Myriad, Australia, BRCA, DNA, Genetic Materials

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Texas Supreme Court Leaves Trespass Question Unanswered

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Environmental Processing Systems LC v. FPL Farming Ltd., case number 12-0905, and specifically declined to address the issue of whether wastewater that migrates under…more

Appeals, Farms, Hazardous Waste, Trespass, TX Supreme Court

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Supreme Court Puts Raging Bull Copyright Back in the Ring

This month, the U.S. Supreme Court in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. revived copyright infringement claims based on the motion picture Raging Bull, and in the process may have killed the "discovery rule" for when a…more

Copyright, Copyright Infringement, MGM, Petrella v. MGM, Raging Bull

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes

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The Telephone Consumer Protection Act – FCC Approves New Rules

John met Susan in a bar. Enamored, he later asked her friend Mary for Susan's telephone number. The next day John called Susan on his iPhone to ask her out on a date. Sadly, John did not get the girl. Instead, he got sued by…more

ATDS, Cell Phones, FCC, Mobile Devices, Popular

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NLRB's Quickie Election Rule Takes Effect - A New Threat for Employers: A Proactive Solution for You

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its final Rule on "quickie elections" in December, and they are now in effect. These rules come down heavily in favor of unions…more

Ambush Election Rules, Final Rules, NLRA, NLRB, Union Elections

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Long Term Care Lenders Beware: Could You Be Liable For Patient Care?

Plaintiffs are increasingly seeking to extend to remote lenders liability for alleged negligent care of residents in long term care facilities. The current strategy is to use "alter ego and veil piercing" theories which claim…more

Alter Ego, Commercial Bankruptcy, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, Lenders

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Tennessee Proposes Fracturing Practices for Oil and Gas Wells

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's (TEDC) proposed rules regarding fracturing practices for oil and gas wells have received approval by the Joint Government Operation Committee in the Tennessee General…more

Fracking, Oil & Gas

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Tour Fee Can Vary Again in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Revenue released a proposed rule Monday that would allow breweries in Georgia to charge different fees for admission on tours based on the amount of free tastings and the free souvenir. This regulation…more

Beer, Breweries, Department of Revenue, Fees, Tourists

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Whether You Know It or Not, There Are or Will Be a Granny Cam in Your Center: What Are You Going to Do About It?

You are the exception if you haven't had a family member put a video camera in a resident's room. Sometimes they do it secretly, like in a digital photo frame, and sometimes they put them in plain view. This raises major issues…more

Health Care Providers, Long Term Care Facilities, Nursing Homes, Policies and Procedures, Security Cameras

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes

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Sparta to Memphis: Bruce McMullen Shares His Path to Success

Bruce McMullen is a shareholder in Baker Donelson's Memphis office and focuses his practice in health care law and commercial litigation. Over the years, Bruce has built a successful career, earning an AV® Preeminent™ Peer…more

Career Development

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Social Media Compliance Policies: Your Company Needs One

Use of social media is ubiquitous in today's society. This is astounding when you think back to 2004 and realize that social media did not exist then. Fast forward ten years and by September 2014, 58% of all American adults ages…more

Compliance, Dominos, Facebook, FINRA, Hashtags

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NYSE Amends Rule Regarding Disclosure of Material Nonpublic Information

Companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) are certainly familiar with the NYSE rules regarding public disclosure of material information. Those rules require prompt disclosure of material information that may affect…more

Compliance, Material Nonpublic Information, NYSE, Public Disclosure, Publicly-Traded Companies

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Baker Donelson Comments on CMS's Proposed Changes to the Stark Regulations - September 2015

The law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C., sincerely appreciates the opportunity to comment upon the proposed clarifications and changes to the Stark regulations issued by the Centers and Medicare and…more

CMS, FQHC, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, Hospitals

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New Georgia Law Sets Deadlines for Deeds, Relaxes Attestation Requirements

If you thought you knew the decades-old Georgia requirements for attesting a security instrument or recording a deed under power, think again. These basic rules are changing on July 1, 2015, and the changes are expected to have…more

Deeds, Mortgage Servicing Rules, Mortgages, Recording Requirements, Security Deed

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The New Broader Standard for Divided Patent Infringement

On Thursday, August 13, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Akamai Technologies, Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc. unanimously overruled its prior narrow interpretation of divided infringement…more

Akamai Technologies, Covered Business Method Patents, Divided Infringement, Joint Venture, Limelight

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What Happens to LTC Arbitration Agreements if the Proposed CMS Rules are Implemented?

By now, most industry members are aware that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published a proposed set of new rules for regulating long term care (LTC) facilities. During the review period, CMS received…more

Arbitration Agreements, CMS, Healthcare, Long Term Care Facilities, Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

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OSHA’s Public Shaming of Employers, i.e., New Recordkeeping Rules

On Wednesday, May 11, 2016, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finalized its controversial workplace injury and illness reporting rules. The new requirements are effective August 10, 2016, with…more

Electronic Filing, OSHA, Recordkeeping Requirements, Reporting Requirements, Workplace Injury

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Court of Appeals to Plan Administrators: Inform Claimants of Time Limits on Front End of Discussions

Recently, in Mirza v. Insurance Administrator of Am., Inc., __ F.3d__ (3d. Cir. 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit was asked to determine whether plan administrators are required to include a…more

Appeals, Claim Denial Letters, Employee Benefits, ERISA, Health Insurance

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“Materially Less”: The Foreclosure Deficiency Standard in Tennessee

Like many other states, Tennessee allows a creditor who has conducted a foreclosure sale of real property secured by a deed of trust or mortgage to recover "a deficiency judgment in an amount sufficient to satisfy fully the…more

Debt, Deficiency Judgments, Foreclosure, Mortgages

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Advisers Charged with Cleansing Dirty Money from Industry

On August 25, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) proposed an anti-money laundering rule applicable to SEC-registered investment advisers (RIAs). The proposed rule would require RIAs to establish anti-money…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, Banking Sector, Banks, Broker-Dealer

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Texas City Council Rejects Fracking Ban

On July 16, 2014, the City Council of Denton, Texas rejected an ordinance that would prohibit hydraulic fracturing. The initiative will now be considered by the Denton residents in the November election. Earlier this year, the…more

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OSHA’s Public Shaming of Employers, i.e., New Recordkeeping Rules

On Wednesday, May 11, 2016, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finalized its controversial workplace injury and illness reporting rules. The new requirements are effective August 10, 2016, with…more

Electronic Filing, OSHA, Recordkeeping Requirements, Reporting Requirements, Workplace Injury

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Alabama Legislative Update – Sine Die – The 2014 Legislative Session Ends

The Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. In previous years, sessions have ended just minutes before midnight on the 30th legislative day. This year was different. As soon as both…more

Ethics, Fraud, Legislative Agendas, Lobbying

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Supreme Court Reshapes Consumer Financial Law with Two Recent Decisions

The Supreme Court issued two interesting decisions recently that will affect the consumer financial industry. In Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, the Court held that when it comes to Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations, standing…more

Article III, Attorney Generals, CFPB, Class Action, Dodd-Frank

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Executive Order Requiring Paid Sick Leave In the Works

We previously reported on other recently executed Executive Orders and it appears there is another in the works directed to government contractors. The new Executive Order circulating Washington will likely mandate paid sick…more

Construction Industry, Domestic Violence, Employee Benefits, Federal Contractors, PTO

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Five Things to Consider When Expanding in a Global Market

More and more oil and gas companies, based in the United States or elsewhere, are considering a venture into foreign waters (or land). Following is a list of just a few issues that could impact expansion efforts. …more

Compliance, FCPA, Foreign Currency, Fraud, Oil & Gas

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OCR Releases Tool to Help Organizations Safeguard Health Data

Health data is among the most attractive targets for cybersecurity attacks. To help ward off attacks, health care organizations and their subcontractors subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)…more

Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Health Care Providers, HIPAA, NIST

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Mitigating Successor Liability in Long Term Care Acquisitions

As in any business acquisition, purchasers in the long term care industry can encounter potential liability due to employment claims, seller violations of representations and warranties under the purchase agreement, tort…more

Long-Term Care, Succession Planning, Successor Liability

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Georgia Legislature Clarifies Service of Process Statute for Georgia Domestic and Foreign Corporations Doing Business in Georgia

On July 1, 2013, clarifying changes to Georgia’s Civil Practice Act went into effect regarding how a plaintiff can accomplish service of civil process against a Georgia corporation, as well as foreign corporations doing business…more

Foreign Corporations, New Legislation, Service of Process

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FCRA Class Action Suits on the Rise

It is a common practice for employers to check criminal backgrounds or credit ratings of potential, and sometimes current, employees. Background checks that provide this type of information are helpful to employers when…more

Background Checks, Chipotle Grill, Class Action, Compliance, Corporate Counsel

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Immigration Corner: Major E-Verify Changes Proposed

On June 8, 2015 USCIS released the details of proposed major changes to the E-Verify program. The notice, found here, proposes several major changes to the E-Verify program and seeks public comments until August 7, 2015. These…more

Compliance, E-Verify, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), I-9, Section 3

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Proposed Amendments to Outer Continental Shelf Regulations Clear Up the Meaning of a Safe Drilling Margin

On April 17, 2015, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) published proposed amendments to regulations for offshore well operators in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The proposed amendments address numerous…more

BSEE, Offshore Drilling, Oil & Gas, Outer Continental Shelf, Proposed Amendments

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On My Bookshelf: Flash Boys

In the spring of 2007, Brad Katsuyama, a successful New York banker at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), thought something was wrong with his computer. He was trying to buy 10,000 shares of Intel, offered at $22. But the moment he…more

Flash Boys, High Frequency Trading, SEC, Wall Street

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GAO's Report Suggests Congress Give CFPB More Oversight

This past February, the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report to Congress entitled "Financial Regulation – Complex and Fragmented Structure Could Be Streamlined to Improve Effectiveness" (the Report)…more

CFPB, Depository Institutions, Dodd-Frank, Financial Regulatory Reform, GAO

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Employers of Home Care Workers to Begin Paying Overtime in January 2015

The United States Department of Labor issued a final rule, extending the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to home health care workers who provide care for the sick, disabled or elderly, otherwise known as…more

Caregivers, Employee Rights, FLSA, Unpaid Overtime, Wage and Hour

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Louisiana Governor Institutes Sexual Orientation and Transgender Protections for State Workers and Contractors

On April 13, 2016, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed Executive Order No. JBE 2016-11 prohibiting discrimination or harassment by Louisiana state agencies against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender…more

Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, Federal Employees

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U.S. Supreme Court Bartlett Decision in Favor of Generic Drug Manufacturers

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court held that state law design defect claims against manufacturers of generic pharmaceuticals are preempted by federal law when the claim hinges on the adequacy of the drug's…more

Design Defects, Generic Drugs, Pharmaceutical Industry, Preemption, SCOTUS

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DOL Gives States More Control Over Self-Insured Health Plans

On November 6, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL) published Technical Release 2014-01, which provides technical guidance to States concerning stop-loss insurance. Stop-loss…more

DOL, Employer Group Health Plans, Health Insurance, Self-Insured Health Plans

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On My Bookshelf – Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know

For this month's book review, Tim Lupinacci, the leader of the Firm's Financial Services Department, and Staci Pierce, an associate in Financial Services, provide their points of view on Sponsoring Women by Ida O. Abbott…more

Corporate Social Responsibility, Diversity, Leadership

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Louisiana Fourth Circuit Holds Public Bid Invalid Absent Written Evidence of Authority to Sign Bid

Contractors that bid public projects in Louisiana are familiar with the Public Bid Law's requirement that "[w]ritten evidence of authority of the person signing the bid for public works shall be submitted at the time of…more

Competitive Bidding, Construction Industry, Contractors, Limited Liability Companies

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Franchisor Protected from Unfair Competition, Not All Competition

The fine line between protecting your system's legitimate interests and trying to eliminate a competitor can be hard to define in advance. With social media so important for consumer businesses, the line is even more difficult…more

Franchisors, Non-Compete Agreements, Restaurant Industry, Trademarks, Unfair Competition

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Highlights of H.R. 22: Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act

On December 1, a conference committee unveiled the FAST Act, which would authorize approximately $305 billion for highway, transit, rail and safety spending for the next five years, until September 30, 2020. The Act would…more

Amtrak, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), Highway Trust Fund, Pending Legislation, Surface Transportation

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Deadlines Extended on Cadillac Tax and ACA Forms 1095 and 1094 Reporting

In a recent Omnibus appropriations package, Congress extended the effective date for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) "Cadillac Tax" by two years, from plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, to plan years beginning on or…more

Affordable Care Act, Cadillac Tax, Extensions, Filing Deadlines, Form 1094

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Women's Health Tip – June 2015

Jackson, Mississippi, attorney Anna Powers has traveled the world and lived in some of the globe's most fascinating places, picking up bits and pieces of fitness and nutrition practices along the way that shape her very active,…more

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New Fiduciary Duty Rule: What You Need to Do Now

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its Final Fiduciary Duty Rule. The effective date for the rule is June 7, 2016, which is 60 days after its Federal Register publish date of April 8. The rule takes…more

Best Interest Contract Exemptions, DOL, Employee Benefits, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty

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A Not-So-Happy Valentine's Day for UAW and Its Continued Efforts to Feel the Love

On February 14, 2014, the results of a NLRB-conducted unionization vote by Volkswagen workers at the Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant were released. Plant workers voted 712-626 against representation by the United Auto Workers…more

Automotive Industry, NLRA, NLRB, Unions

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U.S. Tax Considerations for Corporate Dealings in Cuba

On March 1, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Ruling 2016-8, which removed Cuba from a blacklist of foreign countries that are denied certain favorable tax rules under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). The…more

Corporate Taxes, Cuba, Foreign Relations, Foreign Tax Credits, Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

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Alabama Homestead and Personal Property Exemptions Increased

On June 11, 2016, Governor Bentley (Alabama) signed into law ACT No. 2015-484 which became effective that same day. The law increases the personal property exemption available to individual debtors and surviving spouses to…more

Debtors, Homestead Exemption, Personal Property, Surviving Spouse

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Eleventh Circuit Case Delivers Big Win for Contractors Seeking Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has issued an important opinion that is good for contractors making claims on general liability policies, and not so good for the insurers issuing those policies. Specifically,…more

Appeals, Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Disputes, Construction Industry, Contractors

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Federal District Court Rules Favorably for Medical Device Manufacturer in Off-Label Promotion Lawsuits

On April 13, 2015, in the case of Kathleen Hafer v. Medtronic, Inc., the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee issued a favorable opinion to a medical device manufacturer in the context of preemption…more

Leave to Amend, Manufacturers, Medical Devices, Medtronic, Misrepresentation

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Light in the Alice Tunnel: Software Claims Found Patentable

On May 12, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corporation provided much needed guidance for the patent community in finding that software claims were patentable subject matter under Section…more

Abstract Ideas, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Microsoft, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Section 101

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Potty Wars: North Carolina Doubles Down on Transgender Bathroom Law

It seems like an odd place to wage a civil rights war, but right now across the country there is a serious debate over public bathroom use. The LGBT community, backed by the U.S. Department of Labor (OSHA), has taken the…more

DOJ, Employee Restrooms, Gender Discrimination, OSHA, Restroom Legislation

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Data Localization and the TPP: Financial Institutions Beware

After five years of negotiations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement was finally signed in early February 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. The TPP, which President Obama describes as a strategic "pivot" toward Asia, is…more

Cross-Border Transactions, E-Commerce, Financial Institutions, Trade Policy, Trade Relations

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Hospitalitas Newsletter - Spring 2014

In This Issue: - Your Grandmother Doesn’t Work for Free: Volunteer and Intern Positions Under Closer Scrutiny - Excessive Celebration – Penalty Declined - Four Crisis Management Lessons from the…more

Class Action, Crisis Management, DOL, FLSA, Fourth Amendment

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Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Laws on the Rise

Several states and cities across the county have passed laws requiring employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave. Statewide laws have been passed in Connecticut, California, Massachusetts and Oregon. Washington,…more

Employee Benefits, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, Sick Leave, Wage and Hour

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Financial Services Industry: Be Aware of Proposed White Collar Overtime Regulations

The financial services area received a defeat earlier this year when the United States Supreme Court in March upheld the Department of Labor's (DOL) Administrative Interpretation concluding that mortgage loan officers do not…more

Appraisal Management Companies, Banking Sector, Banks, Bonuses, Collective Actions

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Get Your Ducks in a Row: Thoughts on Foreclosure of Securitized Debt in Alabama

Alabama remains one of the simplest jurisdictions in the country for commercial foreclosure. Nevertheless, foreclosure in Alabama can quickly become expensive if a lender does not carefully follow the letter of the law and…more

Debt, Foreclosure, Securitization

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 2, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

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Fifth Circuit Reverses Citgo Convictions Under Clean Air Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in United States v. CITGO Petroleum Corp., No. 14-40128 (5th Cir. September 4, 2015), reversed the district court’s convictions of Citgo Petroleum Corp. (Citgo) for alleged…more

Bird Fatalities, Citgo, Clean Air Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, National Emissions Standards

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ACG Louisiana Holding Second Annual Energy Case Cup Competition

The Louisiana Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG Louisiana) will hold its second annual Energy Case Cup Competition in October. Last year's inaugural competition included more than 100 undergraduate students…more

Corporate Financing, Energy Sector, Financial Adviser, Investment Banks, Non-Profits

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CFPB Wants to Prohibit Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Clauses

Today, the CFPB announced its proposed rule that would prohibit class action waivers in arbitration clauses in contracts governing consumer finance products. While the proposal does not include a complete ban on all pre-dispute…more

American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers

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Q & A: ICANN's Global Trademark Clearinghouse

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body tasked with coordinating and preserving global Internet stability, is embarking on its largest expansion ever of the domain name system. Last week, on…more

Domain Names, gTLD, ICANN, Registration, Trademark Clearinghouse

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Avoiding a Limitations Fight by Rescinding Acceleration

Texas recently added a new statute aimed at providing lienholders and loan servicers an unambiguous method for unilaterally abandoning the acceleration of a loan's maturity. When a borrower defaults in paying an…more

Acceleration, Borrowers, Consumer Lenders, Debt, Default

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Maintaining the Magic: Disney's Use of Confidentiality Restrictions to Promote Character Integrity

When your business depends on a carefully-crafted public image, you do not want the public to know how hard you work to maintain that image. These days, that includes preventing your employees from revealing too much via Twitter…more

Actors, Confidentiality Agreements, Corporate Counsel, Disney, Disney World

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Common Trends in FINRA and SEC Regulatory Priorities

Each year, both the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issue guidance concerning their regulatory priorities for the coming year. This year, FINRA…more

BSA/AML, Conflicts of Interest, Corporate Counsel, Cybersecurity, Exchange-Traded Products

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For Convenience Store Chains in Georgia, Leasing Business Operations to Separate Entity Can Maximize Recovery in Condemnations

In Georgia, when a convenience store chain both owns and operates a location, it should lease business operations to a separate legal entity to maximize recovery in the event of a partial condemnation. In limited…more

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Baker Donelson Comments on CMS's Proposed Changes to the Stark Regulations - September 2015

The law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C., sincerely appreciates the opportunity to comment upon the proposed clarifications and changes to the Stark regulations issued by the Centers and Medicare and…more

CMS, FQHC, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, Hospitals

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Federal Part 2 Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Programs Take Note: Proposed Rule Has Significant Gaps

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have issued a Proposed Rule to revise 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (Part 2 Regulations) – the federal…more

Comment Period, Confidentiality Policies, EHR, Health Care Providers, HHS

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Preparing for the Inevitable: Legal Holds

Litigation is an unfortunate inevitability in the long term care industry. How well your company weathers that storm often depends on your preparation, and one of the most vital parts of your litigation response plan is your…more

Electronically Stored Information, Healthcare, Litigation Hold, Litigation Strategies, Long Term Care Facilities

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High Volatility Commercial Real Estate: Loan Document Considerations

As of January 1, 2015, global Basel III regulations and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Consumer Protection Act required banks in the United States to comply with certain new capital rules and regulations. Among other…more

Banks, Basel III, Capital Rules, Dodd-Frank, HVCRE Rule

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U.S. Institutes New International Design Applications

In February 2015, the United States completed steps to become a member of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague Agreement). The Hague Agreement went into effect for the United…more

Design Patent, Hague Agreement, Patent Applications, Patent Cooperation Treaty, Patents

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Legislative Update for Brand Manufacturers Distributing in Alabama

On April 28, 2015, the Alabama House of Representatives passed SB-80, thereby abolishing the highly criticized theory of innovator liability adopted in Wyeth, Inc. v. Weeks, ___ So.3d___, 2014 WL 4055813 (Ala. Aug. 15, 2014)…more

Inventors, Manufacturers, New Legislation

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Hydraulic Fracturing Continues to Produce More Legislation and Oversight

As U.S. oil and gas production has dramatically increased due to the more frequent use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to release tight oil and gas, new state legislation and rules around oil and gas drilling…more

Energy, Fracking, Natural Gas, Oil & Gas

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Immigration Update: Trying to Cut the Red Tape: Department of Labor Announces Emergency Procedures for Backlogged H-2B Applications

The Department of Labor (DOL) has recently been experiencing considerable delays in its processing of applications for H-2B status for temporary nonimmigrant workers. The H-2B program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign…more

DHS, DOL, Filing Requirements, Foreign Nationals, Foreign Workers

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Important Notice Regarding Amendments to Tennessee's Breach Notification Statute

All companies with Tennessee employees or customers need to revise their data incident policies and procedures. Tennessee has revised their breach notification statute to remove the encryption safe harbor, which previously…more

Data Breach, Data Protection, Encryption, Incident Response Plans, Risk Management

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Georgia Supreme Court Rules Construction Defects Satisfy CGL Policy's 'Occurrence' Requirement

Homeowners sued their homebuilder alleging that the concrete foundations of their homes were improperly constructed. As a result, it was alleged that the foundations were failing, and the defects in the foundations had caused…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Defects, Occurrence, Property Damage

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Lessons for Smaller Creditors

As we look back on 2015, it’s not surprising that the CFPB's enforcement actions continued to focus on mortgage-related practices. What was surprising was that its actions were not confined to the nation's largest banks and…more

CFPB, Enforcement Actions, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgage Loan Originators, Mortgages

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On My Bookshelf – The Other Fellow May Be Right: The Civility of Howard Baker

It was a beautiful fall afternoon in Knoxville and 100,000 Big Orange fans milled around Neyland Stadium shortly before kickoff. One of them was a then-young partner in a then medium-sized law firm, dressed in jeans and sneakers…more

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Recent Eleventh Circuit Decisions Clarify "Debt Collector" Status Under the FDCPA

Recent decisions within the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals have clarified two required elements needed to support a viable claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In Davidson v. Capital One Bank (USA),…more

Appeals, Capital One, Debt Collection, Debt Collectors, FDCPA

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Tennessee Benefit Corporation Statute

Governor Haslam recently signed into law the "For-Profit Benefit Corporation Act" (the FPBCA), which has now been assigned Public Chapter No. 497. The FPBCA will take effect on January 1, 2016 and will allow for-profit…more

B Corporation, Corporate Governance, Emerging Growth Companies, New Legislation, Public Benefits

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Top 10 Recommendations to Avoid Litigation

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been targeted by plaintiff's attorneys who advertise heavily in an effort to solicit plaintiffs for malpractice suits…more

Medical Liability

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New Texas Law Hopes to Eliminate the Barriers to Recycling Fracking Wastewater

Following a unanimous vote of approval in both the House and Senate and signature of Governor Rick Perry, House Bill 2767 will go into effect in Texas on September 1, 2013…more

Drilling Waste Disposal, Fracking, Oil & Gas, Wastewater

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U.S. Tax Considerations for Corporate Dealings in Cuba

On March 1, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Ruling 2016-8, which removed Cuba from a blacklist of foreign countries that are denied certain favorable tax rules under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). The…more

Corporate Taxes, Cuba, Foreign Relations, Foreign Tax Credits, Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Ruling Highlights Importance of State Income Tax Considerations for Section 338 Elections

In Spotlight on Tennessee: Letter Ruling Addresses Treatment of a Section 338(h)(10) Election, dated July 10, 2014, we examined how Tennessee treats the federal election under Internal Revenue Code Section 338(h)(10) for…more

Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes, Income Taxes, State Taxes

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Overtime Overhaul – The Final Regulations are Finally Here

After two years of wait, debate and overall angst for employers across the country, the new overtime rules were announced today. The details of the rule are available, but final publication of the rule in the Federal Register…more

DOL, Exempt-Employees, Final Rules, FLSA, Minimum Salary

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Congress Passes the Defend Trade Secrets Act

On April 27, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) by a vote of 410 to 2. Since the Senate already passed the bill and the Obama Administration has long been in favor of it, the bill…more

Asset Seizure, Confidentiality Agreements, Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), Interstate Commerce, Non-Compete Agreements

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EEOC Implements Digital Charge Pilot Program

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced the launch of its ACT Digital pilot program that allows the EEOC to communicate directly with employers through an online portal. Phase I of ACT Digital…more

ACT Digital, EEOC

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Florida to Government: Your Lien Doesn't Foreclose This Old Mortgage

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that cities cannot create ordinances that subject prior recorded mortgages to their subsequently recorded county or governmental liens, because it conflicts with Florida's state statutes on…more

Foreclosure, Liens, Local Ordinance, Mortgages, Municipalities

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CFPB Refines Mortgage Rules to Resolve Conflicts and Inconsistencies

On October 15, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interim final rule and bulletin refining and making technical changes to certain provisions of its January 2013 mortgage rules. The interim rule…more

CFPB, Conflict Resolution, Consumer Bankruptcy, FDCPA, Mortgages

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The New Paradigm in Vendor Management Under the CFPB

This past July marked the fifth anniversary of the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a period marked by sweeping changes to the regulatory and administrative environment in which financial institutions…more

Banking Sector, Banks, CFPB, Citibank, Compliance

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 3, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

Career Development, Client Services, Professional Development, Professional Networking, Women in the Law

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Summary of Senate Bill 2622 - Mississippi's Construction Lien Law

This is the first in a series of alerts exploring how this new law will affect your business. Look for more information regarding this law in the coming weeks. The bill has passed out of conference but it must be enrolled and…more

Construction Liens, Materialman's Lien

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes

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Waive Goodbye to Confirmation Hurdle! Recent Decision from the Georgia Court of Appeals Gives Lenders an Alternate Route to Collect Post-Foreclosure Deficiency From Guarantors

By most accounts, a decision from the Georgia Court of Appeals last September represents a sea change in the law governing judicial confirmation of foreclosure sales and post-foreclosure deficiency claims. Indeed, the Court's…more

Appeals, Deficiency Judgments, Foreclosure, Guarantors, Lenders

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High Volatility Commercial Real Estate: Loan Document Considerations

As of January 1, 2015, global Basel III regulations and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Consumer Protection Act required banks in the United States to comply with certain new capital rules and regulations. Among other…more

Banks, Basel III, Capital Rules, Dodd-Frank, HVCRE Rule

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The Jury's Out of the Game and Employers are Back on the Bench: No Right to Jury Under the Tennessee Public Protection Act

Recently, the Tennessee Supreme Court quietly passed down David G. Young v. City of LaFollette, which changed the face of labor and employment litigation in Tennessee. In Young, the Court held, among other things, that "there is…more

Breach of Contract, Employment Contract,